(See the index for all episodes of Counter-Apologetics.)
Today I present the debut episode of a my new podcast, Counter-Apologetics.
[music: remix of "Knights of Cydonia" by DJ Irish]
In this first episode I want to explain what I think counter-apologetics is and why I’m doing this podcast.
Let’s start with something most of you probably know. The word ‘apologetics’ comes from the Greek word ‘apologia’ which means ‘a defense.’ So, an apologetic is an intellectual defense of some position. You can put forward an apologetic for democracy or abortion or capitalism or anything you can defend with evidence and argument. But in America, anyway, the word ‘apologetics’ is most closely associated with Christian apologetics – an intellectual defense of Christian belief.
Christian apologetics is a huge industry with hundreds of Christian philosophers and scientists and historians and laypeople writing books and articles and websites, participating in public debates, and teaching university courses on how to defend Christian belief and try to persuade other people that there are good reasons to think that Christianity is true. There’s a lot of money and time and effort and very smart people behind this project, and there’s comparatively little skeptical response to it all. Now recently we have had the New Atheists write some big books, and there are hardworking religious skeptics plugging away at the Secular Web and Prometheus Press and the Atheist Experience TV show and other places, but understandably alot of people just aren’t interested to devote their time and money and careers to debunking the claims of Christian apologists, for the same reason that most people aren’t going to devote their lives to debunking the claims of conspiracy theorists and UFO nutjobs and so on.
So this podcast is a response to Christian apologetics. I’m going to be examining the claims and tactics of Christian apologists and then equipping you with skeptical responses to them.
Now, you’ll notice this isn’t a show about atheistic apologetics. I’m not going to be defending the truth of atheism or metaphysical naturalism or ethical naturalism. I’m really just responding to Christian apologists, and that’s why this show is called ‘Counter Apologetics’, not ‘Atheistic Apologetics.’ I’m not defending atheism, but rather casting doubts on the outrageous claims of Christian apologetics.
So again, this isn’t a show about why I believe what I do believe about the universe or science or whatever. This is a show about why I don’t believe – why I don’t believe that Christianity is true.
So why am I doing this podcast? Why do I care? I care because the truth matters. It matters whether morality comes from God or whether we have to figure it out on our own. It matters whether disease is caused by demons or by micro-organisms. It matters whether the Bible is the work of an omniscient being or ignorant, ancient writers. It matters to people trying to decide whether to devote their lives to Christian ministry or to some other interest they have, whether it be business or engineering or art. It matters to people who want to make the world a better place. It matters to me, and if you’re listening to this podcast, it matters to you. The truth matters.
So in each episode, I will examine a particular claim or argument made by a Christian apologist. I’ll reason carefully, I’ll quote my sources, and I’ll finish in less than 10 minutes. And that’s what you can expect from Counter-Apologetics.
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